Academy for Democracy

    LVS 2018

    Exploring Etho-ecologies

    Natural/Social entities and the environments they inhabit must be engaged with equally – if a shared future is to be considered for human and non humans. In times when disaster events are escalating beyond human’s governable capacities, and when debates on climate change, risk and resilience are intensifying, there is a felt urgency that actions must be taken towards building sustainable futures. A greater importance is being afforded to natural entities that are governed by human societies but upon which they also depend. To begin thinking about a shared future, in LVS 2018, we seek to understand the composition of environment and the social, cultural and natural landscapes; what do these consist of and how can we think collectively with nature and culture.

    In 2015 an earthquake of 8.2 hit Chitral causing devastating damage to physical property, infrastructure and human lives. The fault-line of Earthquake was marked in close proximity of Laspur Valley. Laajverd Visiting School will be conducted in Laspur and adjoining valleys to understand the natural-social relations amidst the challenges of natural hazards, environmental degradation, and the recent surge of slip shot development. Engaging with the concept of etho-ecologies, we will focus on natural environment, culture, architecture and natural landscapes to identify correlations, interdependencies and potential synergies upon which we might speculate a shared future.

    LVS is an inter-disciplinary platform comprising of workshops, seminars, field trips and opportunities to experience cultural practices, local music and food. Through rigorous research activities and tutorials, participants will learn to use a range of research methods, develop projects with local community, explore techniques of presentation, and carry out cross-curricular research projects.

    Projects

    Indigenous Practices and Patterns Catalog

    LVS Team

    Audio Visual Cultures and Built Environment assignment led participants to identify practices and patterns through
    the field research conducted in Harchin, Sor Laspur, Brok, Phargram and Raman. The extensive list contains the products used and made, craft of the area, building techniques, practices, folklore, localknowledge and usage of herbs etc.
    The information was further compiled by Fatiha Khwaja and Zeeshan Ghani.

     

    Revisiting the Khuras

    By Aihab Anwar and Akhyar Razzaq

    Water mills also known as Punchakis, Khura in the local language used to be an important part of the Laspur Valley as they were for grinding wheat. These Khura are approximately 200 years old and there usage was during the months of September until March. However, changing times, decrease in water supply and the introduction of technology has changed the focus from Punchakis to Electric Powered Mills. The idea is to rehabilitate these structures into spaces that are relevant to the current local situation and help in generating revenue for the local community. This project explores how Pun-Chakkis (water mills) can be revived and used as community gathering spaces such as craft center, music workshop or a cafe for tourists.

     

    Mehmaankhana – platform for Tourism

    Daniyal Khyzer

    MehmaanKhana is a community based business plan which is not only for their economical development but it also helpful in creating an opportunity of self sustainable and interactive tourism. This will be controlled from a community head office which was run by manager should be selected and trained from local community. Mehmaan Khana is just not only to facilitate the tourist but also an income generating program in the town according to their skill. It will create an income generating opportunity for Cooks, rooms and guest house owners, Tour guides, Polo players and coaches, local story tellers, craftsmen, Musicians.

     

    Livelihoods Diversification and CPEC

    Sidra Tabassum & Fatima Afzal

    This project explores the aspirations and perceptions of local men and women related to the CPEC. It focusses on the
    diversification of economies based on the resources, skills and capacities the local people claim to have.

     

    Learning in Museums – HML

    Batool Ali, Ayesha Kamal, Somana Riaz, Yumna Sadiq

    Museum as a learning platform for young children was one of session facilitated by Batool Ali. Conducted under Cultural Heritage Management workshop, Heritage Museum Laspur hosted the activity with the blessings of the owner Mr Amirullah Yaftali. The exercises developed in this session are for children from Grade 3-5 and Grade 6-8 keeping in view their Learning dynamics. These exercises were developed in collaboration with local school children. These will be further refined by the LVS team to be introduced in the Heritage Museum Laspur in 2019.

     

    Story Through Flip-cards

    Yumna Sadiq

    The objective of the project is to make children relate to the objects at the Heritage Museum in Laspur Valley. By designing a game titled ‘Shelog Dikk’ (Storytelling), the children get to explore different objects at the museum while creating stories around them as well as adding cultural references to the story. This game can help school children to interact with the objects by themselves. This can also be useful for future researchers and local (Chitral) school trips. Developing stories can be very helpful in tapping into a child’s imagination and enhancing creativity. Children’s stories can also fit into the larger stories of the world.

     

    Creative Learning Activities

    Somana Riaz

    Laspur Valley holds a treasure of traditional values, cultural norms and a rich heritage that has been preserved as the valley’s heritage museum. This asset needs to be promoted and made an interesting, fun filled and interactive space both for the local community and for visitors. Children specifically are to be made the custodians of local heritage. For this purpose a set of activities are designed for school children of different age groups. These activities are aimed at acquainting these young minds with their cultural roots, changing practices, inculcating creative thinking and educating them about their area and the museum. The designed activities are focused on creative writing, observation skills, drawing and mathematical observation keeping in view the courses taught at schools from grade 3 to 7.

     

    Laspur Interactive

    Ayesha Kamal

    Using the Laspur Heritage Museum as a Centre, a suggestion of a series of products shall be introduced to promote
    sustainable tourism in the valley and keep a soft check on the people who visit to be responsible tourists. The Laspur interactive is not only a way to connect the valley of Laspur with the rest of the country by sharing the culture and tradition of Laspur, but also a way to connect the locals with their own traditional values, creating products which
    promote sustainable tourism in the area and generate income with open ended, locally produced selection of items. Since, the area has problems with accessibility and adaptability to technology, simple trade craft shall be used in the promotion of these items.
    One particular product shall be created in this report, a cardboard model set of a traditional house which could be built by folding and locking flaps. This shall be available in an A3 size booklet which would have introductory chapters to a Traditional house in the Harchin Valley.

     

    Qashkaari Crafts – Resilient Futures Project

    Fouzia Yaftali, Zahra Hussain, Fatima Hussain Sheheryar Hassan & Kamran Rizvi

    Qashkaari is crafts based program initiated with the local women of Laspur Valley in order to protect, preserve and practice the techniques of hand-crafting embedded in the cultural heritage of the area. As of now either centuries old practices are being casacded by change, or the locals are being coerced into selling their products at lesser than a subsistence wage.
    Qashkaari aims to change this. Our session with local women explored ways in which local craftswomen can be facilitated in a niche market so that they can be the direct owners of their own products – through profit and loss alike. This approach aims to make the local women direct owners of the craft and also preserve the cultural specificities of the craft. It will also introduce a proper brand, run a campaign involving the local community, provide reasonable resources, training the local managers, and in a long run setting up a training institution within their own locality. The business model is developed by Sheheryar Hassan and Kamran Rizvi while the project is being led by a local woman Fouzia Yaftali, assisted by Laajverd.